|In the building industry of today,
"pre-fabricated" is a very common term, and it deals
with constructing certain parts of a building—for example, the
structural system—in a factory and then delivering it to the
construction site. Before the 1870s, this process was rare.
However, when cast iron was developed, it became possible to
build structures to new heights. Much of this cast iron was
pre-fabricated, increasing construction speed. Cast iron was not
only used for the structure of a building, but also used as
an exterior finish. The Variety Iron Works Plant in York
provided many buildings with iron used just for that purpose.
York’s most outstanding example of a cast iron building is the
York Dispatch Building on East Philadelphia Street. It is
another National Register of Historic Places property, and dates
from 1887. Architecturally, the building is in the ornate
Italianate Style, with parapet, elaborate
cornice, and window pilasters. This striking building is now home to Rudy Art Glass.
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© 2002 by Scott D. Butcher